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White Privilege in South Africa

Although it is clear the term 'white privilege' has become popular across diverse contexts, some have argued against it. They say that the term 'white privilege' reinforces stereotypes, reifies conceptualizations of race, antagonizes potential allies and creates even greater resistance to change.

In South Africa, white privilege is the legacy of apartheid, which subjugated and devalued anyone whose skin colour was not white. Despite the political dismantling of apartheid, white privilege persists. Calls to transform racialized organizations are viewed as threats by white people who, correctly, hear demands for racial justice as an end to white privilege. Source

The Bantu Education Act institutionalized Racial inequality and segregation. The effects of which are still present in the educational system today. The funding, availability of materials, and performance of historically white and historically black schools continue to differ significantly. Source

South Africa is the most unequal country in the world, with race playing a determining factor in a society where 10 percent of the population owns more than 80 percent of the wealth, a World Bank report has said. Source

A report reveals that Whites own 72% of the total 37,031,283 farms and agricultural holdings by individual landowners; followed by Coloured at 15%, Indians 5%, Africans 4%, other at 3%, and co-owners at 1%. Source

In the third quarter of 2022, the unemployment rate among Black South Africans reached 36.8 percent. The unemployment rate among white South Africans reached 7.8 percent in the first quarter of 2022. Source

The black middle class remains largely an academic construct. It consists of a mere 4.2 million people whereas blacks make up 80% of the population of 60 million. Research shows no sign of a decrease in racialized wealth inequality since apartheid. Source

“Ten percent of all South Africans — the majority white — owns more than 90 percent of national wealth… Some 80 percent of the population — overwhelmingly black — owns nothing at all.” — New York Times Source

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